The Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Emanuela Del Re, opened an online event organised by the CGIL trade union on "Peace and human mobility in the Sahel". In her speech, the Vice Minister gave an appraisal of the situation in the region highlighting Italy's growing role there.
"In recent years, Africa has become increasingly important for our foreign policy, and the Sahel region, due to its strategic geographical position as a bridge between sub-Saharan Africa and the Mediterranean basin, is a policy priority." - Ms. Del Re began.
"Over the last three years Italy's contribution in the Sahel has increased more significantly than in any other part of the world and Italian Cooperation is actively engaged in laying the groundwork for economic development there, by fostering entrepreneurial skills and providing support to SMEs, also with an increasing focus on attracting private investments with a high social and environmental impact, the enhancement of human capital and the vocational training of women and young people".
"Of course, we are also aware that the Sahel Countries are key for the management of migration as transit Countries on the route to Europe. The Foreign Ministry, in fact, has set up a Migration Fund for the purpose of cooperating with the Countries that play a priority role in migration flows, which Fund, to date, has allocated almost 50% of its resources to the Sahel Countries".
"The physical, political and human geography of the Sahel has established it as the real frontier of Europe and the future security and well-being of both Italy and Europe will depend on whether or not we will be able to seize the opportunities (and tackle the challenges) posed by this inescapable contiguity." - the Vice Minister concluded - "Italy's commitment to supporting stability in the Sahel region is destined to continue for a long time, within the broader framework of strengthening Italy's strategic partnership with the African Countries, a partnership based on the values of equal political dialogue, shared development and full appropriation by Africans of the response to the challenges facing Africa".